Friday, 23 September 2016

Eight Days A Week - The Beatles: The Touring Years

Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years.

As many of you know, and have no doubt seen by now, Ron Howard has recently released a Beatles documentary 'Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years' and it is nothing short of a labour of love.

However, the story is one us hardcore Beatles fans have heard and seen before but there are still treats for us in store in watching, such as the Pathe film footage of their 20 November 1963 concert at the Manchester ABC Cinema. This footage has been cleaned up a bit and restored and, for me at least, is a highlight of the film. Also, the colouring of their 1964 JFK Press Conference, their Washington DC and Blackpool concerts was also a treat.

Shake It Up (Jelly) Baby: The Manchester footage now clearly shows the Jelly Babies that litter the stage, thrown by fans who'd heard George remark they were his favourite sweet.
The film also incorporates studio chatter from the Beatles' recording sessions at Abbey Road, some of us will have heard snippets of it before but a lot of it was newly released. The story was told beautifully, with Paul & Ringo taking part to share their memories and also some fans who grew up to become well known figures, such as Whoopi Goldberg and Sigourney Weaver, the latter was also captured in fan footage from one of the Beatles' concerts at the Hollywood Bowl in 1964.

Sigourney Weaver, age 14, captured by TV cameras at the Beatles concert at the Hollywood Bowl in 1964.

The end of the film was quite poignant, with the decision to stop touring largely due to the pressures of the hectic schedule and the mania that surrounded the group. Their final advertised show being at Candlestick Park, San Francisco in 1966.

1965's Blackpool Night Out colourized for the documentary.

Ron and his team did a fantastic job with the whole thing and I hope to see more from them, perhaps a documentary on the studio years? What are your thoughts on the documentary?

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